In January, Criterion Collection Knows Too Much, Revisits Childhood, and Pina Dances to a Tin Drum

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Along with providing a level of public service by preserving older and contemporary films judged to be culturally significant, Criterion Collection offer cinephiles the world over a chance to purchase copies of said films that might otherwise be unavailable for purchase. This month Criterion Collection has something of a first on its hands with its release of its first 3D release ever, but if you've ever seen Wim Wenders's Pina, you'd know there was no other way it could be relevant: it's easily the best use of 3D employed in a film to date, and will likely stand as such for a while. Additionally, this month sees the Blu-ray release of the Alfred Hitchcock classic The Man Who Knew Too Much, Volker Schlondorff's The Tin Drum, Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop, and Andrei Tarkovsky's debut film Ivan's Childhood.

For full details on each release, read on.

twolane_blacktop_bluTwo-Lane Blacktop

Drag racing east from L.A. in a souped-up ’55 Chevy are the wayward Driver and Mechanic (singer/songwriter James Taylor and the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson, in their only acting roles), accompanied by a tagalong Girl (Cockfighter’s Laurie Bird). Along the way, they meet Warren Oates’s Pontiac GTO–driving wanderer and challenge him to a cross-country race—the prize: their cars’ pink slips. But no summary can do justice to the existential punch of Two-Lane Blacktop. With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative from maverick director Monte Hellman (The Shooting) is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever made.
 
1971 • 103 minutes • Color • Monaural • 2.35:1 aspect ratio
 
DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Monte Hellman, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by Hellman and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio
• Two audio commentaries: one by Hellman and filmmaker Allison Anders and one by screenwriter Rudolph Wurlitzer and author David N. Meyer
• Interviews with Hellman, actor James Taylor, musician Kris Kristofferson, producer Michael Laughlin, and production manager Walter Coblenz
• Screen test outtakes
• Performance and Image, a look at the restoration of a ’55 Chevy used in the movie and the film’s locations today
• Color Me Gone, photos and publicity from Two-Lane Blacktop
• Trailer
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones; appreciations by director Richard Linklater and musician Tom Waits; and a reprint of the 1970 Rolling Stone article “On Route 66, Filming Two-Lane Blacktop,” by Michael Goodwin

SRP - $39.95

man_knew_much_bluThe Man Who Knew Too Much

An ordinary British couple vacationing in Switzerland suddenly find themselves embroiled in a case of international intrigue when their daughter is kidnapped by spies plotting a political assassination. This fleet and gripping early thriller from the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was the first film the director made after signing to the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation. Besides affirming Hitchcock’s brilliance, it gave the brilliant Peter Lorre (M) his first English-speaking role, as a slithery villain. With its tension and gallows humor, it’s pure Hitchcock, and it set the tone for films like The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes.

1934 • 75 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• New audio commentary featuring film historian Philip Kemp
• New interview with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro
• The Illustrated Hitchcock, an extensive interview with director Alfred Hitchcock from 1972, conducted by journalist Pia Lindstrom and film historian William Everson
• Audio excerpts from filmmaker François Truffaut’s legendary 1962 interviews with Hitchcock
• Restoration demonstration
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

SRP - $39.95 

tin_drum_bluThe Tin Drum

Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the chaotic world around him careers toward the madness and folly of World War II, Oskar pounds incessantly on his beloved tin drum and perfects his uncannily piercing shrieks. The Tin Drum,which earned the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Academy Award for best foreign-language film, is a visionary adaptation from Volker Schlöndorff (Young Törless) of Nobel laureate Günter Grass’s acclaimed novel, characterized by surreal imagery, arresting eroticism, and clear-eyed satire.
 
1979 • 163 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In German with English subtitles • 1.66:1 aspect ratio

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New, restored high-definition digital transfer of the complete version, approved by director Volker Schlöndorff
• Newly remastered 5.1 surround soundtrack, approved by Schlöndorff and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
• New interview with Schlöndorff about the making of The Tin Drum and the creation of the 2010 restored, complete version
• New interview with film scholar Timothy Corrigan
• German audio recording from 1987 of author Günter Grass reading an excerpt from his novel The Tin Drum with musical accompaniment, illustrated with the corresponding scene from the film
• Television interview excerpts featuring Schlöndorff, Grass, actors David Bennent and Mario Adorf, and cowriter Jean-Claude Carrière reflecting on their experiences making the film
• Trailer
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Atkinson and 1978 statements by Grass about the adaptation of his novel

SRP - $39.95 

ivans_childhood_bluIvan's Childhood

The debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky (Andrei Rublev), Ivan’s Childhood is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy’s war-ravaged youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of World War II and serene moments of family life before the conflict began, Tarkovsky’s film remains one of the most jarring and unforgettable depictions of the impact of war on children.
 
1962 • 95 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • 1.33:1 aspect ratio
 
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
• Appreciation of filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and Ivan’s Childhood featuring Vida T. Johnson, coauthor of The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue
• Interviews with cinematographer Vadim Yusov and actor Nikolai Burlyaev
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Dina Iordanova; “Between Two Films,” Tarkovsky’s essay on Ivan’s Childhood; and “Ivan’s Willow,” a poem by the director’s father, Arseny Tarkovsky

SRP - $39.95 

pina_bluPina

The boundless imagination and physical marvels of the work of the German modern-dance pioneer Pina Bausch leap off the screen in this exuberant tribute by Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire). A long-planned film collaboration between the director and the choreographer was in preproduction when Bausch died in 2009. Two years later, Wenders decided to go ahead with the project, reconceiving it as an homage to his late friend. The result, shot in stunning 3D, is a remarkable visual experience and a vivid representation of Bausch’s art, enacted by a group of staggeringly talented dancers from her company, the Tanztheater Wuppertal. Pina is an adventurous work of cinema that highlights the bold legacy of one of the world’s true creative visionaries.
 
2011 • 103 minutes • Color • 5.1 surround • In German, English, Russian, French, Italian, Slovenian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean, with English subtitles • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
 
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• High-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Wim Wenders, presented in two editions: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray combo, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, and DVD
• Audio commentary featuring Wenders
• The Making of “Pina” (available in 3D)
• Deleted scenes with commentary by Wenders (available in 3D)
• Behind-the-scenes footage
• Interview with Wenders
• Trailer
• English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A booklet featuring a piece by novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt; reprinted pieces by Wenders and choreographer Pina Bausch; information on the dances featured in the film; and portraits of the dancers

SRP - $49.95 

Jan
04
2013
Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.

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